New Local Housing Allowance rules
The highest rate of Local Housing Allowance after April 2011 is the four bedroom rate. Large families who were in receipt of housing benefit before this date could receive the five bedroom rate of Local Housing Allowance.
Old Local Housing Allowance rules (pre-April 2011 claimants)
The number of people who live with you as members of your family determines how many bedrooms you need and the size of the accommodation you qualify for. If you have a large family then, depending on your details, you may have qualified for a five bedroom house. The highest rate of Local Housing Allowance until April 2011 was the five bedroom rate and from this date was the four bedroom rate.
Date of Change
From April 2011 all new Housing Benefit claims by private sector tenants have been calculated under the new rules.
Claimants who were getting the five bedroom rate received protection from the change for until nine months after the anniversary date of their claim date (the date the first claim was made). For instance, if their Housing Benefit claim started on 1st May 2009 then the claim will be re-calculated from 1st February 2012 (the anniversary date is 1st May but a further nine months is allowed before the rule change affects you).